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Assisting community in need

Huntingdon County Foundation board member Phil Thompson, center, presented $1,000 each to Captain Elliott Higgins of the Salvation Army and the Rev. Brett Hoover, representing the Huntingdon Forum of Churches, for heating and utility assistance. This funding came from the Bill Alexander/General Fund of the foundation.


With heating costs on the rise, board members of the Huntingdon County Foundation made a donation to the Huntingdon County Salvation Army and the Huntingdon Forum of Churches this past week to aid in helping those who need assistance this winter season.
According to John Eastman, treasurer of the foundation, each organization received $1,000 each from the foundation’s Bill Alexander/general fund to assist in their emergency fuel/utility programs to support county residents.

“These programs are especially needed during the current conditions of inflation and high home-heating costs,” said Eastman.

Captain Elliott Higgins from the Huntingdon County Salvation Army has noticed an increased need for not only heating costs but the costs of all utilities.

“We’ve seen a rise in all utilities and all other costs since summer,” he said.

The Rev. Brett Hoover, pastor of the Huntingdon Presbyterian Church and representing the Huntingdon Forum of Churches, said they hope as more people are in need, people who can step up to give whatever they can.

“We’re hoping for an increase to keep pace with demand,” said Hoover.

For Hoover, the heating assistance program said they get a steady stream of those asking for help as the temperature gets colder. Still, he noticed more demand in early November when temperatures were colder than normal.

“Our resources are managed by Center for Community Action, so they do the vetting for us,” he said. “We usually see at least a couple a month, but in early November, we got two or three times the number of requests we typically do.”

Both Hoover and Higgins see that demand increasing as the weather gets colder and winter truly sets in.

Phil Thompson, a board member of the Huntingdon County Foundation, said Bill Alexander, for whom the fund is named, was a community-minded person, so they keep this in mind when deciding what organizations to help in the community.

“This is a way for us to give back,” he said.

Those interested in donating to the utility fund can make checks payable to the Huntingdon Forum of Churches and add a note of “utility fund” in the memo. A collection will also be taken during the Festival of Song, which will be held today, Dec. 3, at the Presbyterian Church.

Article by Kylie Hawn, The Huntingdon Daily News

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